Wine bar owner, Ericka Argiris, has been offering Murrumbeena locals the ideal drinking destination since its doors opened in 2019. Nestled conveniently amongst the busy strip on Murrumbeena Road, Argiris has prided herself on offering a location where guests can gather to share great conversation, with a side of wine, beer, spirits, and tapas-style dishes derived from local family-run businesses. Now, Argiris has recruited a permanent line-up of young female musicians who emulate the bar's moody atmosphere,
giving them a spotlight (and an audience) that will help kickstart their careers. The sole female owner herself wants to emphasize the importance of giving local female artists the spotlight to share their individuality and raw talent, and she is more than happy to facilitate their exposure if it means her customers don't have to travel far to enjoy great live music and drinks.
Exclusively supporting female artists from around Melbourne, Argiris explains that she often scouts local talent from the Melbourne Musicians Facebook page if she believes they would complement her venue. Artists often contact her as well, particularly more recently, as they've seen the bar described as a live music hot spot. One of her longstanding favourites is Abbey Williams, who performs smooth jazz with her 50s-style microphone every Sunday afternoon, providing a relaxing atmosphere that works well with a
couple of glasses of wine. As for other nights, Mia Pisano is a local acoustic folk singer who performs a mixture of her own songs and popular covers which gets everyone involved, from the guests to the bar staff. Ruby Mae was one of Murrumbeena Wine Bar's first artists and occasionally makes a reappearance with her unique blend of rock, folk and punk fusion. Argiris explains that although she is young, she has a deceiving maturity and soulful sound that her regulars fell in love with and consequently now plays larger
gigs. Aimee Francis is also described as having a soulful blues voice covering popular tunes and has released her own EP that gets played at the bar regularly. It's no surprise that Argiris has developed a deep connection with these female artists, who give nothing but gratitude and support to her for facilitating their passions, from one female to another.
Music is something that Argiris has always wanted to incorporate into her venue since its early days. During the pandemic, however, she realised the importance of providing local artists with a judgement-free space to share their talent, exposing them to a community of listeners that they may not have been able to reach prior. Although hospitality venues were shut for an extended period due to on
and off lockdowns, Argiris would even set up online gigs for her customers to dial into every Friday night to keep them uplifted and to continue to support the work of these solo musicians. Argiris describes that music is very important to her and that "each [of her] artists has their unique sound, even when they play covers, and that's why I encourage them to play their own music too." Now that hospitality is back to standard trading, Murrumbeena Wine Bar doesn't go a weekend without showcasing a variety of talent. The collaboration works in both favours as well - providing an intimate setting where musicians can sing amongst diners allows them to develop a closer connection with their audience, who will likely revisit the bar for its unmatched entertainment and atmosphere.
Although every featured artist offers a different style of tone and tempo, Argiris is quite fond of soulful jazz and folk-style music, which is quite complementary to the essence of the wine bar itself. The venue is an English-style heritage build, with deep green interior and gold finishes that encapsulate a moody and cosy surrounding. Often where the musicians perform, this space offers plenty of comfortable seating and is in close proximity to the bar. Continuing outside, visitors will be greeted with a plush beer garden, with a
beautifully painted mural paying homage to the historical Neerim Road making it the ideal drinking spot for an easy Saturday afternoon in the summertime. Whilst listening to a beautiful acoustic set, guests can relax, order a glass of wine sourced from a local boutique winery, and treat themselves to the bar's range of charcuterie boards (including their Vegan alternative). Specialty food and drinks include their handmade Empanadas and Spring Fling Cocktail which is just in time for the new season and features a local grocer's organic rhubarb.
By visiting Murrumbeena Wine Bar, not only will customers be supporting a female-owned bar, but they
are also supporting Argiris' lineup of female talent and the local businesses that she uses to supply her
products. Guests are satisfied knowing they don't have to travel far to the city and can stay local for the
same experience in the suburbs. For more information about the wine bar and its weekly schedule of live
performances, head to www.murrumbeenawinebar.com.au.